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Winston Peters: Recognising Our Neighbourhood

Rt. Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader

Public Meeting
Saturday, 5 July
E.F.K.S Church Hall, 9 Vili Place, Woolston, Christchurch
‘Recognising Our Neighbourhood’

Thank you for the opportunity to be with you here today.

New Zealand First stands for a united and cohesive New Zealand in which all its citizens have the opportunities from a full life.

We are a nation made of people who come from a wide and diverse range of backgrounds.

We must always make that diversity a source of strength not division or contention.

We see that there are too many examples around the world where countries have lost their cohesion for us to want to go down that path.

New Zealand First’s policies are inclusive and focussed for all New Zealanders.

After all, we can all claim our own particular heritage.

But foremost we are all Kiwis.

New Zealand First policy offers much to people in the Pasifika community.

The nations of the South Pacific are our neighbours.

It is right and proper that we have a special relationship with them.

Today we have strong cultural and demographic links built up over many years.

New Zealand First acknowledges the important ties that we have.

New Zealand has an historic obligation to the Pacific Islands and we want to ensure that our development goals will contribute to a more sustainable and prosperous future for their people.

The National Government is satisfied with the overall educational achievement levels of Pasifika students.

New Zealand First is not – too many Pasifika young people are seeking to enter a competitive workplace without a sound education and qualifications.

The Government is satisfied with the level of unemployment of Pasifika people

New Zealand First is not ––Pacific unemployment in NZ currently sits at 13%.

So the level of unemployment of Pasifika peoples is virtually twice the national average – that cannot be justified or tolerated.

The unemployment statistics for young Pasifika people are truly appalling (18% NEET (not in employment, education, or training) as of March 2014).

The National Government is satisfied with the health status of Pasifika people.

NZ First is not – the facts are not favourable.

Pacific people are in high statistics of those with health problems. Obesity rates were highest in Pacific adults, where over two-thirds (68%) are obese.

Three out of four Māori (76%) and Pacific (78%) adults reported never visiting a dental health care worker, or only visiting for a toothache. One in eight Pacific adults (13%) report being diagnosed with diabetes, and Pacific people are high on the list of those affected by Rheumatic Fever.

Many parents cannot afford to see the doctor or pay for treatments, and their children are left in the “wait” basket until the parents/carers are able to take them. Pacific people are often in hospital for longer periods with more complications because they haven’t been to see the doctor earlier due to limited funds.

Immigration policy is important to Pasifika people – for obvious reasons.

Let me state clearly that New Zealand First’s immigration policy is designed to serve the national interest and New Zealanders as a whole.

But it is true that for the Pasifika community in New Zealand the current immigration policy is particularly damaging.

By allowing what amounts to an open door policy from countries with vast populations such as India and China the Pasifika community along with other New Zealanders is hard hit in competition for jobs, educational opportunities and access to health services and housing.

Only New Zealand First offers a sane immigration policy.

Pacific Peoples have a lot of potential that is being ignored by this Government.

We all have a stake in the future make-up of New Zealand so there needs to be more emphasis on what we can do now to ensure that we, as a nation, move forward collectively and benefit equally from policies, and are treated equally under one law.

New Zealand First knows that Pasifika peoples want four things above all.
• Good housing
• Good health systems
• Good education opportunity
• A first world job with first world wages

That is why our Party focuses primarily on the fundamental needs of the population. It is those four things, after all the political hype, that all people want.

That’s what we are going to focus on because that’s always been New Zealand First’s focus.

And on issues like aid in to the Pacific New Zealand First’s record is superior to that of any other political party.

When we had the chance to run NZ Aid we gave it a massive financial boost and a serious priority focus.

It you give us the chance both at home and overseas we will do the same again.

In conclusion, many Pacifica populations have a strong religious connection so remember it’s not what you are promised that matters it’s whether you can believe those promises.

As the good book says ‘by their deeds you will know them’

That’s why you know us.

Thank you.

ENDS

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